Woodley Avenue

The former Alvarado Ave. was rechristened Woodley Ave. in 1916 as Los Angeles, which had recently annexed the San Fernando Valley, already had an Alvarado Street. The new namesake: L.A. County supervisor Frank Erwin Woodley (1865-1934), who may have also lent his name to Erwin Ave. Born in Menomonie, WI, Woodley graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School but didn’t pass the bar, instead joining his family in Porterville, CA in 1889 and getting into real estate, citrus, water, and mines. He and his wife Mary (née Hilton, 1868-1956) came down to L.A. in 1903 with their kids Marion and Harold – their eldest, Frankie, died from measles in 1898 – and Woodley continued to ply his trades. A growing interest in politics got him elected to the CA legislature in 1912, but he must have hated Sacramento as he announced his candidacy for L.A. City Council mere months later. Although that bid failed, Woodley was appointed to the County Board of Supervisors (3rd District) in 1914. He served until 1926, his final months in office tainted with scandal: at one point, the entire Board was arrested for embezzlement! The Woodleys lived in Hollywood.